Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). How Do Blockchain Cloud-based Solutions Work?

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    Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is gaining traction, but what is it? This guide is here to explain to you the basics of this blockchain technology and its advantages for corporations and businesses

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). How Do Blockchain Cloud-based Solutions Work?
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We know that the application of blockchain extends well beyond cryptocurrencies, but where exactly can it be applied? One of the most prospective ways to use this technology is Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). Sound complicated? This article is here to explain the nuts and bolts of this innovation, and how it can change our lives.

What is BaaS?

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is a technology that enables clients to use cloud-based infrastructure to create, host and utilize their own blockchain applications, code contracts and features on a blockchain. At the same time, cloud service providers execute assignments and processes to help the ecosystem function. It is a fascinating advancement that contributes to the wide adoption of blockchains over organizations. In its essence, it reminds one of Software As A Service.

People and organizations are eager to adopt blockchain innovations, but there are many impediments to its massive implementation: technical issues and operational restrictions connected with making, arranging, and maintaining the decentralized system, and keeping up its foundation. Together with the industry top dogs, numerous new companies are currently offering advanced products for dealing with this issue via the Blockchain-as-a-Service.

This is how BaaS works
A few things you should know about blockchain as a service

So, how does it function?

BaaS means that a third-party company renders all essential "blockchain innovations and infrastructure" for a client on a paid basis. A BaaS supplier establishes and maintains the decentralized system and nodes that they possess and operate. Thus, a BaaS supplier deals with the fundamental points of the software for the customer and their online infrastructure.

The BaaS administrator cares about the maintenance of the decentralized framework. It additionally offers support services like bandwidth control, appropriate assignment of assets, hosting, etc. Besides, a supplier is also responsible for the security of his framework. By utilizing a BaaS solution, the customer may forget about troublesome errands and focus on what really matters – the functions of their blockchain – rather than stressing over the ecosystem and issues with performance.

To have a better understanding of what it is, consider that BaaS plays the role of a hosting company. You fabricate an awesome site that is ready to deal with serious traffic spikes. You can host your website utilizing your PC or server located in your own home/company, and deal with all the upkeep by hiring IT specialists. Alternatively, you can work with third-party web hosting suppliers like GoDaddy and let their team take care of everything. BaaS functions similarly: it enables you to concentrate on the essential website features and functions.

BaaS might be the fundamental trigger that can prompt a lot more extensive and profound implementation of blockchain innovations crosswise over different business areas and organizations. Rather than making proprietary blockchains, businesses can let others handle those complicated tasks and focus on their mission-critical goals.

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Why is BaaS beneficial?

BaaS works like a SaaS solution, permitting organizations of every kind to implement blockchain technologies without investing heavily in their development. Additionally, the BaaS model enables organizations to deploy blockchain supplier's services to access/create decentralized apps.

The main drawback is that BaaS cannot exist without some level of centralization as exchanges should be executed on behalf of the hosting provider. Decentralization is what makes blockchain valuable, but here we deal with a specific case, so organizations should take some time to consider if such technology is suitable for solving their issues.

  • Benefits of this service model

  • The ability to benefit from advanced technologies without serious investments

  • Offers organizations huge adaptability

  • Expanded information security

  • Wide compatibility

  • Access from any place

  • More advanced software

BaaS can be implemented in organizations of any sphere and is highly demanded among the companies related to retail, healthcare, insurance, marketing, finances, and cloud services.

Who provides such services?

Large companies are already developing and offering their own BaaS solutions. Microsoft has come up with a BaaS system for Azure. The service is essentially created for corporate customers, accomplices, and devs to implement and customize the decentralized ledger technology by providing an intuitive cloud-based decentralized dev ecosystem. Using this solution, several parties may experiment with blockchain in a ready environment – it’s suitable for both development and testing. Once the solution is ready, it can be uploaded and integrated seamlessly into the Azure’s private system.

Companies that provide BaaS hosting include Google and IBM
Most BaaS cloud service providers are well-established corporations

Deloitte's Rubix is a solution that was created to model, test and build blockchain & smart contract applications for any sphere. Thanks to offering a flexible, adaptable blockchain infrastructure, Rubix is a 100% private system that can be controlled to meet the customer’s requirements. With an assortment of incredible and adaptable highlights and settings, Rubix can be successfully used in corporate infrastructure.

Aside from above-mentioned products, IBM’s innovation is offered for private consortium blockchains, and cloud hosting solutions are also provided by Amazon and Oracle.

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Why is BaaS the future for B2B?

There are at least three reasons why BaaS is very likely to be widely adopted by companies.

1. It allows testing the products

This system enables B2B organizations to experiment with blockchain innovations prior to making a more considerable investment. B2B organizations don’t have to spend boatloads of money on testing and developing technology and electronics. BaaS reduces the risks connected with the use of proprietary decentralized systems.

Of course, to create some organization-specific products, a company would have to hire a programmer or blockchain developer, which will cost them $70,000-$200,000 annually. But for enjoying some basic functions, a BaaS solution would be more than enough.

2. BaaS solves the problem of a lack of workforce

Since blockchain is a pretty new phenomenon, the number of qualified blockchain specialists is minor. Today, companies face a lack of blockchain developers, which makes it hard for them to use the technology. From 20 mln programmers on the planet, only 0.1% are savvy in the area of the decentralized ledger. What's more, statistics show there are only up to 60K specialists worldwide meeting all requirements to deal with programming.

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3. It revolutionizes the way we run operations

In 2016, worldwide financial organization Visa announced that it started working with blockchain venture organization Chain to build up a straightforward and quick approach to execute B2B transactions over the globe. Without blockchain, performing thousands of international transactions can be a great challenge, but BaaS changes it all.

Making international transactions can frequently be a cumbersome and long procedure even for large enterprises. Despite the fact that BaaS suppliers basically play the role of mediators for B2B organizations and blockchain innovation, it removes the intermediaries in exchanges by automating the process. Therefore, exchanges made via decentralized systems have a much higher speed. Organizations like Visa are creating blockchain frameworks to execute close to real-time exchanges. What's more, the amount and geography of these exchanges aren't a boundary. With BaaS, organizations can easily process global operations.

By accelerating the procedure, BaaS can save a lot of money for B2B organizations. For instance, a bank might save around $8 bln every year, e.g. cuts its operational budget by 27%.

Why is BaaS not a pure blockchain system?

Truth be told, BaaS is not a 100% blockchain because it contradicts one golden rule: blockchain is decentralized, which means it isn’t governed by anyone. However, the use of BaaS means that companies take control over a blockchain in their hands, which goes against the ethics of this phenomenon. Is there any threat? We know that the information stored in blockchains is always unbiased and trustworthy as it’s driven by code only. As for BaaS, codes might be manipulated by the developer or owner. It diminishes the main value – decentralization.

All in all, BaaS has a lot of potential to improve the efficiency of business processes, no matter where it is used. Although the technology is currently in its initial state, it promises to become more widely adopted all over the globe because its advantages are hard to overestimate.

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Is Litecoin a Good Investment in 2019? Is It Safe to Invest in LTC?

Is Litecoin a Good Investment in 2019? Is It Safe to Invest in LTC?
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Each cryptocurrency has its own positive features and unique peculiarities that allow it to develop and grow steadily. Among all representatives of the market, Litecoin stands alone. The project successfully combines the fundamental factors by which it can claim continued growth in the capitalization rating.

The forecast for 2019 clearly indicates that its most important distinctive details will surely help it move forward, imposing serious competition to the rest of altcoins.

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Features and principles of functioning

Appeared in 2011, the project immediately attracted the attention of users. Its creator, Charlie Lee, has focused on protecting his own cryptocurrency from possible future problems. So, unlike its older brother Bitcoin, Litecoin was initially ready for scalability. LTC cryptocurrency is in permanent operation due to a large number of copies of the program, whose source code was published a week before the start of the plan. The client guarantees security, and its new version has SegWit support.

Litecoin is endowed with a whole list of features.

  • Chain of blocks. This allows you to process a much higher volume of transactions compared to its “big brother”, Bitcoin. It is achieved by increasing the frequency of generation of new blocks, which gives a chance to maintain a larger volume of ongoing operations without modification and, if necessary, change it in the future.

  • Wallet encryption. Encryption allows you to protect yourself from fraudsters. Thanks to this feature, you have to enter a password every time a cryptocurrency is spent. The user also has the ability to view the transactions and account balance. Encryption protects against various viruses that can steal a wallet password and coins.

  • Reward. At the moment, miners get 25 coins for each confirmed block. Following statistics, the number of coins is halved every 4 years.

  • Mining. The mining algorithm of Litecoin is similar to the algorithm of the most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. The main difference lies in the intensive exploitation of RAM during the mining of LTC. Therefore, it is advisable to use ordinary computers with GPU instead of machines with a powerful specialized CPU, for which development becomes quite problematic. The maximum supply of coins is 84 million, and this is almost four times the corresponding number of Bitcoin.

It can also be noted that Litecoin is written in the C ++ programming language. Among the supported operating systems are Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and many others.

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Relationship to Bitcoin

Despite the strikingly close relationship with Bitcoin, which must be taken into account when analyzing the feasibility of investing in Litecoin for 2019, it is worth noting that the distinctive features of cryptocurrency should be its main development. At the same time, the most important unique features are:

  • More organized, centralized money management

  • High transaction speed

  • Low commission for transactions

  • Ease of making transfers

Charlie Lee stressed that it is Litecoin who is obliged to take the place of the currency that the majority of users will use. At the same time, the existing simplicity, speed and availability of transactions should contribute to the achievement of this goal. In this case, the prospects for the growth of crypto-finance will impress even the most optimistic people.

Differences from Bitcoin

Although the Bitcoin code is at the heart of Litecoin, there are still differences, and in some cases significant. One can distinguish the main ones:

  • More efficient use of a computer’s central processor (CPU) than a video card (GPU), which is fundamentally different from the main cryptocurrency.

  • Due to the increased block generation rate, the transaction is rather short-term and takes no more than 150 seconds.

  • The opportunity of mining in wallet in the SOLO mode or a pool.

  • Mining complexity is recalculated much faster than of Bitcoin’s one.

  • The emission is four times the BTC emission and makes up 84 million coins.

Similarities with Bitcoin

On the other hand, there are also some similar features with the main cryptocurrency:

  • Mining is performed in the same way, albeit using different functions.

  • There is no external control due to the decentralized type of network.

  • Both cryptocurrencies have a limited supply of coins.

  • The anonymity of both wallet owners and miners. Complete freedom of disposal of funds on the wallet.

  • A transaction cannot be undone.

Thus, it can be said that differences from Bitcoin make Litecoin a distinctive digital currency capable of expressing itself in the future.

What about disadvantages?

However, negative factors also exist:

  • With the creation of ASIC-miners, it is more difficult for ordinary users to mine cryptocurrency, and power is concentrated in the hands of large companies.

  • The failure of the LitePay service dealt a serious blow to the popularity of the virtual coin. The developers planned to create a system that had different integration with Visa. Despite the active work and the investment of a large amount, the project was not able to start. In the company, no one could explain what the money was spent. The scandal undermined the credibility of the digital coin.

  • Interdictions at the level of state authorities. Many states cannot decide on the status of digital money. Laws are either not released or are in development process. Only a small number of countries have completely legalized cryptocurrencies.

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How to invest in Litecoin

The easiest answer is to do it through exchanges.

Most investors and traders purchase Litecoin for US dollars or BTC (Bitcoin). Since different trading platforms have different trading or purchasing power, be sure to check whether your exchange supports transactions in US dollars or BTC for LTC.

LTC logo
‘Litecoin with man using a tablet computer‘ Image by 123rf

As a rule, the best option is to use a large trading platform, such as Binance (where you can exchange BTC for LTC) or Coinbase (to use a credit or debit card in US dollars).

However, since the cryptocurrency market is a large and, moreover, unregulated industry, it should not be viewed as the same type of investment opportunity as shares of stocks, bonds, or other securities. In fact, traders and investors should consider lots of factors when investing (especially given the volatility of digital assets in recent months).

Ways to earn Litecoin

Besides investing, there also other options to get LTC:

  • Mining. Litecoin is still in its heyday, as was once Bitcoin. With the help of the computing power of a personal computer, it is still possible to actually generate new coins.

  • Cloud mining. The client rents the computing power that Litecoin uses to generate the coins. However, this is a controversial decision. After all, this practice means that landlords of personal computers get more profit than the mining of Litecoin itself.

  • Litecoin cranes. Cranes are advertising sites where a user must enter a captcha and receive a small amount. It is difficult to call it a serious earning as for the whole day you can get only a couple of dollars at best.

Comparing all options, we can say that active mining remains the main method of obtaining LTC.

Technical analysis features for 2019

Since the bottom of Litecoin marked by Charlie Lee has already been passed, you can pay attention to the prospects for further development of the project. As of April 17, 2019, the cryptocurrency chart looks the following way:

 Litecoin chart
Image by Tradingview

It is important to pay attention to the level of $80 – it can be considered as an important support zone, consolidating at which can open the way to growth. Given the damage caused by the protracted fall, it is crucial to clarify that before the beginning of the active growth phase Litecoin should (just like other representatives of the cryptocurrency market), go through the recovery stage. As a rule, it is expressed in a prolonged neutral-positive movement.

The first half of 2019, in the wake of the shocks experienced by market participants, may become a consolidation period. The transition to the bullish movement can be supported by plans of entering the industry of Bitcoin ETF, the opening of the Bakkt platform and a number of other events that can attract serious investment flows.

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Selling coins for the community’s benefit

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, sold all his LTC to avoid accusations about the impact on the rate of the coin. This action was intended to make Litecoin an even more decentralized currency. And, despite the fact that after the sale of coins, the Litecoin exchange rate fell, in the long term, such a decision by the creator of cryptocurrency can bring him multiple benefits.

“For a currency to really be … a worldwide decentralized currency, you can’t have … a real leader who’s trying to control things, so to make it more decentralized, eventually I would step away,” said Charlie Lee.

Litecoin showed its record maximum at the moment in December 2017, when one coin cost $374. After its creator sold all of its assets, the price of the altcoin plummeted, and Lee was subjected to unflattering criticism from users. Many experts also called this move frankly unsuccessful. However, such an ambiguous act can really become the basis for creating the most decentralized digital currency.

In any case, this suggests that Litecoin has a strong developer, strategist, and leader who has a clear motivation and strategy for action. Charlie Lee is engaged in the development of his project, regardless of the value of the currency, and it definitely has a good effect on loyalty to its product from users.

Litecoin forecast for 2019: What analysts say

In the first six weeks of 2019, LTC’s rate went up to a new high, where it is currently trading at around $79.

From August 8, the miners' remuneration will fall from 25 to 12.5 LTC. The reduction in mining income will lead to a weakening of interest in mining of the cryptocurrency. In this situation, the fall in the supply of coins is expected to be approximately double.

According to analysts, the rate of LTC will rise approximately until the beginning of August, when the project will reduce the reward for the mining of coins. At the moment, the cryptocurrency is in 6th place in the rating of the largest digital assets – its rate exceeds $75 with a market capitalization slightly above $ 4.8 billion.

Tom Lee, CEO of Fundstrat Global, is confident that by the end of the year, the rate of the coin may grow by 640%.

Forbes logo
‘Forbes website homepage‘ Image by 123rf

Forbes analyst Billy Bambro said that the 6th largest market capitalization of Litecoin cryptocurrency (LTC) will be ahead of XRP by the end of the year and will take 3rd place.

Although cryptocurrency prices are still far from its previous highs, LTC has managed to double its rate since the beginning of 2019.

Bambro believes LTC pricing is a response to the active efforts of the Litecoin Foundation and developers to improve coin security and privacy, in addition to choosing several well-known partners.

The eToro analyst team, led by Mati Greenspan, conducted a serious study of Litecoin. According to its report, the current cost of LTC is significantly underestimated.

The experts note that Litecoin has good network scalability compared to Bitcoin, fast and low-cost transactions and ongoing technological improvements by the Charlie Lee team: atomic swap, Lightning Network, SegWit.

Thus, when making an analytical forecast for Litecoin for 2019, experts take into account all the factors that contribute and increase the popularity of a crypto asset in the future, and also expand its attractiveness in the eyes of investors and the public.

These include:

  • Litecoin functionality → recognition of real practical use

  • Litecoin's technical superiority → faster transaction speed, lower cost, and easy scalability using Segwit and Lightning Network technologies

  • Litecoin decentralization and representativeness → high user confidence and excellent online rating

Among the factors that led to the growth of Litecoin are Microsoft’s plans to create a platform for decentralized processing and storage of digital identification data based on blockchain technology. And Litecoin has become one of those ecosystems that the company considers potentially suitable as the basis of this large-scale project.

These and other advantages of the Litecoin network find a positive response in Litecoin’s forecasts for 2019, and analysts predict a permanent increase in the price of  the cryptocurrency in the May-July period.

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So, what is the decision?

Over the years, Litecoin consistently follows Bitcoin, keeping a little distance from it. The stability of the project is complemented by an important advantage – the coin appeared much earlier than other coins in the capitalization rating. The presence of history allows you to create a “safety cushion” in the form of trust, which is still rare on the cryptocurrency market. Accordingly, Litecoin may well be considered as a good option for investment.

All in all, Litecoin is worth investing in. The top management of the project is actively working on improvements that allow maintaining high positions of “digital silver” in the capitalization rating. In addition, it is likely that in the near future the bear market will completely end, passing the green light to the bulls. This makes investing in the cryptocurrency promising.

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